Our hope in testing the Osprey Duro 1.5 was to provide the CamelBak Circuit with some competition in the Best Buy category. The Duro is about the same price and has comparable storage volume and water capacity. While these two vests look similar on paper, we found the Circuit to be more capable in almost every category we tested. This isn't to say that the Duro isn't a decent entry level running pack, though, because it is. The Duro boasts a few features not found on other similarly priced models that are functional and give it a more pro look.
Osprey Duro 1.5 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Magnetic hose clip, easy fit adjustment
Cons: Heavy, pockets, reservoir, bouncy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
There were quite a few components to the Duro that we enjoyed. This was the most affordable running vest that offered a magnetic sternum clip for the hydration hose and had several zippered pockets.
To start with the positive attributes first, the Duro is form-fitting, breathable, and has fantastically easy-to-adjust sternum and side straps. The mesh material that forms the entire structure of the vest is soft and has enough structure to keep air moving in-between our body and the pack.
Our biggest struggle regarding the comfort of the Duro is the single adjustable strap on each flank. When compared side to side with our Best Buy, the CamelBak Circuit, you can see some critical differences.
The Circuit (above left) has a V-strap design that creates pull both on your up and down stride whereas the straight across strap of the Duro doesn't. The end result is feeling a significant amount of bounce when using the Duro that we didn't experience with the similarly priced Circuit.
The comfort/fit highlight of the Duro are its sternum straps. The shark-bite esq. clips snapped on and off of the rail giving you seriously quick adjustment. While these attachment points look like they might detach on their own under pressure, you have to pull out in order to unclip.
Features and Design
The Duro has a few features that other vests at a similar price-point didn't include. In fact, the Duro is the least expensive vest to offer a magnetic hose clip to keep everything neat and tidy. We found this clip to be easy to use and handy in rugged terrain as we didn't have to look at the clip to reattach the hose after taking a drink.
There are also far more zippered compartments on this pack than other entry-level packs we tested making the organization of smaller items a bit easier, though overall storage suffered as many of the pockets shared the same space as other pockets. The Duro is mostly slimmed down to the essentials and doesn't provide many of the features you get with the more refined running vests.
While the front stretch pockets look like they might fit non-Osprey brand soft flasks, they don't; at least not easily. We tried to stuff multiple different types of soft flasks into the pockets to no avail. If you want to utilize the expandable water carrying capacity, the proprietary soft flasks are a must.
We struggled to fill the hydration reservoir of the Duro as the handle is positioned in a way that keeps you from holding the top open. This wouldn't be too much of an issue if the spigot on Mt. Lemmon didn't require one of our hands to operate it. This might seem quite picky, but if you're filtering water into your bladder, you might find yourself running out of hands.
The reservoir hydration system on the Duro has two quick release clamps in the system. This makes removing the bladder from the pack quite easy and allowed us to keep the hose threaded through the pack. The ease of removal is definitely a highlight of this hydration pack, and we wish other packs had this feature as it streamlines the process.
The Duro offers a ton of organization potential with its numerous zippered pockets but overall lacks the necessary storage for bigger days out on the trail. As with all packs we tested, we put our base kit together and crammed it into the Duro to see if we had any room to spare.
As you can see in the side by side photos, the capacity of the Duro is just about maxed out with our basic items. While there isn't a lot of space for more than this, we could typically get out for about half a day with this amount of food and supplies given decent weather and not needing any other layers.
The Duro has a ton of zippered pockets. While this is a huge plus in being able to keep small items organized and help us keep from having to search endlessly for our chapstick, it's almost too much. The zippered pockets on the front of the vest share the same space as the large stuff pouches. Ultimately, if you had something voluminous stuffed into the pouches, it made the zippered pockets almost impossible to use since they share the same area.
The Duro is a solid entry-level running vest to get you out on the trails. It is affordable and effective even though it didn't perform quite as well as others in its price range. As we could fit our basic kit along with half a day's food, this vest should be at home on trails run and in urban environments alike.
This pack is a good deal. Had the Circuit never been invented, the Duro would likely be our Best Buy award winner. That being said, there are a few things that could be improved to improve the efficiency and weight of this pack. Overall, though, it performed well in our tests, especially for the price.
While the Duro didn't win any awards this year, it could compete with a few tweaks. This pack boasts features found only on much more expensive models and proved to be a decent entry level running vest.
— Brian Martin